This week in Broadway news 

The Lion King — “the top ticket of all time”—according to the Associated Press just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Currently, 115,000 people enjoy the show in nine productions on three continents, and there have been 27 productions over the life of the show, seen by a staggering 112 million people; note, that’s more than the combined populations of Canada, Greece, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, and Australia.

Meanwhile, in Chicago land, the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking hit musical welcomes actress, vocalist, and two-time “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner Jinkx Monsoon in the role of “Matron ‘Mama’ Morton,” beginning Monday, January 16, 2023. She will make her Broadway debut in an 8-week limited engagement at the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St., NYC) through Sunday, March 12, 2023, becoming the first drag queen to play the role on Broadway. Chicago 

MJ is directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon. In addition, a new block of tickets will be available for performances through Sunday, September 3, 2023. MJ is the winner of four 2022 Tony Awards, including Best Leading Actor in a Musical (Myles Frost) and Best Choreography. 

KPOP made Broadway history in their new musical, which features 18 Broadway debuts and is the first to celebrate Korean culture with Korean, Korean-American, and AAPI representation on and off-stage, including composer Helen Park, who is the first female Asian composer on Broadway. KPOP is the first original musical on Broadway this year, now playing at Circle in the Square Theatre.

Restauranteur Shelley Fireman and actor Wendell Pierce (Contributed photo)

On Broadway, you need a great spot to eat. I suggest the newest joint by the Fireman Hospitality Group — Brooklyn Deli—located in Times Square (1501 Broadway at the Paramount Building); serving their signature Hot Pastrami Reuben sandwich, hot corned beef sandwiches, Chicken Noodle Soup, Classic Hot Dogs, as well as specialty breakfast items such as Eggface Sandwiches and Artisanal Egg Jars. 

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